Estate Planning & Probate

Posted by J. Matthew Bolton on August 10th, 2020

Estate planning & intestacy laws

Estate planning is a necessary step to ensuring your loved ones are protected after you die. Estate planning affects everyone, since it involves planning for our eventual demise. There are laws that govern the process by which we declare how we would like our possessions to be distributed after our death, as well as our end-of-life medical care preferences.

Many people believe they do not need a will. However, if you die without one, your assets will be distributed by the state. This is referred to as dying “intestate.” In Tennessee, the intestacy laws divide a decedent’s estate based on property ownership as follows: exclusive property, joint property, and trust property. Tennessee intestacy laws determine how intestate exclusive property is divided. Under intestate succession, who gets what depends on whether you have living children, parents, or other close relatives when you die.

What is a living will or advance directive for health care?

An advance directive for health care is a document that tells your doctor how you want to be treated if you are terminally ill or permanently unconscious. A medical power of attorney is a legal instrument you can use to select the person you want to make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself.

What is probate?

Probate is the legal process of proving a last will and testament, which means verifying that the will is legal, and the deceased person’s intentions are carried out. Probate also occurs when there is no will, and a probate court must decide how to distribute the assets of a deceased’s to his or her loved ones.

Take the time now to document your wishes and designate beneficiaries to receive your assets upon your death. Our clients come from all walks of life throughout Tennessee. We are available to take new cases, and will help you navigate the aspects of estate planning while providing trustworthy legal advice. Please contact us online or call us at 423-434-4700 for a consultation.


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